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Pasta Makes You Fat: Myth Or Fact?

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Pasta Makes You Fat: Myth Or Fact?

Please be a myth… please be a myth. Maybe if we all cross our fingers?

Does Pasta Make You Fat?

Not necessarily. The myth stems from the way that pasta is processed by your body. Concerns about this process and its association with difficulties in losing weight have contributed to the commonly accepted attitude that “white and refined” carbs are evil and not to be touched. We all know the low carb craze has beat into us that pasta is not the way to go. But is this attitude based on fact or fiction?

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What does the Glycemic Index (GI) have to do with my beloved pasta?

The glycemic index explains how a food with carbs will affect your blood sugar levels. Higher Glycemic Index values associated with a particular food item usually indicates that they are foods that will cause you to keep weight on and have difficulty losing weight, unless the item is consumed in moderation. Traditionally pasta has been an example of a high glycemic index food. However, the way in which it is cooked has been found to affect the glycemic index making it an item that can be consumed.

Al Dente Preparation Is The Key

What does “al dente” mean?

“Al Dente” means cooked firm to the bite. The term can be applied to rice, beans, pasta and vegetables.

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Pasta that is cooked “al dente” does have a lower glycemic index.

The glycemic index is an evidenced-based, scientific process that is used to measure how foods affect blood sugar. This is particularly significant for people with medical issues with their blood sugar levels, such as people wishing to manage their diabetes or manage their insulin resistance.The index goes beyond just the number of carbohydrates that a food contains and looks at how the food is broken down by the body. The higher the food is on the glycemic index the more it affects your blood sugar. Therefore cooking the pasta “al dente” will allow your body to break down the pasta in a way that is healthier for your body to process.

Do I Have To Eat Whole Wheat Pasta?

No, “al dente” cooking of the pasta should do the trick. I am especially relieved to read this because I can say from experience that I don’t love the whole wheat pastas I have tried. I may be trying the wrong ones, in their defense. It was mentioned in the article that I will link below, that pasta company Barilla has made a change in their structure of pasta that is supposed to make it easier for your body to break it down over the course of time. That is definitely going a long way to dispose of the “evil” pasta reputation.

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To review- “I’m tired and I want to make pasta. Am I going to end up fat?” No, and here is a bonus: you don’t have to cook it as long. Ergo you will have the food on your plate faster. Just remember: you want to have the pasta cooked “al dente.”

Is buckwheat pasta or brown rice better for me than “al dente” pasta?

As long as you consume it cooked firm to the bite, the buckweat pasta is comparable to the glycemic index of the other options mentioned. The pasta will give you a steady release of energy that keeps you feeling full longer and you won’t have to run a marathon to work it off (though, let’s be honest we should all be doing that, right?)

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If you are interested in reading a little more on fact and fiction in foods please go to this link.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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